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a wake-up call for policy makers to make sure that whatever businesses present a rest, some sort of systemic risk to the economy, then that is a proper, you know, the fundamental proper role of regulation to make sure that is in some way firewall. ..
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marc friedman author of the new book, "the big shift" navigating the new stage beyond midlife talks about the need for better social programs and savings plans for people in their 50's, 60's and 70's who want meaningful and sustaining work later in life. from the commonwealth club of california in san francisco, this is 45 minutes. >> good evening and welcome to the meeting of the common wealth club of california. i am chair the clubs grown ups for amend your host for today. we also welcome our listening audience and we invite everyone to listen to us on line at commonwealth now it's my pleasure to
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introduce our distinguished speaker. marc freedman is ceo and founder of, a nonprofit organization working to promote encore careers. second acts for the greater good. he spearheaded the creation of the experience core, now one of america's largest nonprofit national service programs engaging people over 55. and the purpose prize, which annually provides five, 100,000-dollar prices to social innovators in the second half of life. freedman was described by "the new york times" as the voice of aging baby boomers who will are beginning retirement for meaningful and sustainable work later in life. while the work "wall street journal" stated, in the past decade, mr. freedman has emerged as a leading voice in
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discussions nationwide about the changing face of retirement. he is the author of the "the big shift" navigating the new stage beyond midlife, published in april of 2011 which "the new york times" called an imaginative work with the potential to affect their individual lives and our collect good issues. recognized by fast company magazine three years in a row as one of the nations leading social entrepreneurs. freedman is widely published and quoted in the national media and has been honored with numerous over awards and fellowships. freedman has an mba from yale university, was a visiting research fellow at kings college university of london. he lives with his wife and children in the san francisco bay area and now join me in greeting creating marc freedman.
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[applause] >> thank you john and thanks so much to all of you for coming out at the end of the work day to talk about the future of work. i read a quote from jordan campbell four years ago. he said that midlife is when you get to the top of the ladder and you discover it's leaning against the wrong wall. that quote shook me up and it made me think about the wall that my letter was winning against. i spent 20 years at that point focusing on trying to create more opportunities for people in the second half of life to improve their circumstances of kids through the experiences the john milford mentioned and many other efforts. i felt it was the right purpose in life but i was flagging at
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that time. i wrote a second quote around the same period and it was one from mary catherine basin the daughter of margaret meacham and it says we have stretched midlife so long it has become like a run-on sentence in desperate need of punctuation. i needed to get a little bit about punctuation. a., max was probably too little and. that is what i needed. i went to my board of directors and i asked him if i could take a sabbatical. and i happily agreed. i think maybe they were feeling that i was sliding a little bit as well and i began making very grand plans. in fact i decided to go to the opposite end of the year to australia to take a big trip for three months with my wife and our two young children. and i began the process of accumulating guide books to
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sydney, melbourne and the outback in that pile started growing higher as the days leading up to the trip began growing shorter and finally i reach the point where i had absolutely no desire to go to australia and spent three months in a hotel room with two screaming children then two and four years old. in fact the sabbatical was what i had to do to recover from the trip with the kids in the hotel room. so i called up united airlines and took all my frequent flyer miles to take this extravaganza and $41,000 they let me have my miles back and let me stay at home. instead of going with my dreams in life that have been -- my one opportunity to get away, i felt a huge sense of relief come over me. there would be no airport security lines, no 14 hour flights, no coming back three months later to long piles of
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e-mails and correspondence and all those kinds of things. i was telling this to a friend because i was amazed that i had that reaction. she said oh yet there actually was now a body of research in psychology that shows one of the great pleasures in life is to plan a fantastic trip in that not go on it. you have to do something. after all ike cross this big midlife divide and so i decided to take a car trip with the family up to portland. began planning again and collecting more guidebooks, looking at google maps and i realized i couldn't make it all the way up to portland in one drives. so i had to stop in medford. i got on the internet and started shopping for rates and found homewood suites in medford. i called them up and having lost a thousand dollars not going to australia i thought i should try to get a discount on this room
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and i ran through the aa rates. finally i found a big discount. aarp. i had gotten my card and it was the first chance that i actually used it. i got off the phone and told my wife that i had saved as $14. she still remember the thousand dollars we were out from not going to australia and she asked me, had i remembered to get the two crips? i called the 18-year-old at the check-in desk back and i said this is mr. freedman. i just asked you about the senior citizen discount. that's me. can i have two crips? in that moment i realized i had entered confusing territory, what might be called the oxymoronic -- to remember that time in grade school when he learned about oxymorons in these contradictions in terms? if you think about the way we treat people who are living in the stage of life, like 60 is the new 40 and at the same time if you go to my pharmacy in
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berkeley on solano avenue, they give you senior citizens discounts. it's the old 80s and the same time the new 40 and we hear about the young and the old and the working retired. "newsweek" had a cover story about aging baby boomers entering the workforce and they described describe in as the walking dead. every contradiction, every difference, every kind of oxymoron to describe this period at a personal level and that same kind of contradiction and confusion is true more broadly societally. the longevity revolution, this vast expansion in life expectancy over the last century. we have increased to 100 years. average life expectancy at an amount that was equivalent to all the increases up to 1900 so this is a remarkable triumph and at the same time if you pick up the editorial pages all you hear about is the gray tsunami and
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these who seem to take america to the -- it's almost as if the weather channel has sponsored the entire demographic revolution. so how is it that the best thing that ever happened to us as individuals, the longer healthier lives that we are leading leaving and projected to lead and more extended ways in the future turns out that these are worse things that happen to us. you are crucial for his vegetables and walking around the block and you stretch and live wells he can live long and yet it seems if you pick up any of "the new york times" issues over the last couple of months you see people with the coming trade off. all these tremendously difficult scenarios that are supposedly going to be the hallmark of our future.
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back to mach 3 is supposedly destiny, inevitably so. the condition of the individual level that some this sounds longevity. the ox more broadly, it's no surprise in that context that you start seeing some desperate prescriptions. the book booms day projects euthanasia for boomers at 70. the most recent version of little bit less dark, the best exotic -- i suspect many of you have seen a film which is built around the proposition of outsourcing the elderly. if we can't figure out how to have a society with so many more people over the age of 60, let's just send them someplace else and after all, it's less
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expensive to live in places like india where the stars in the movie end up gone. i am here today to talk about an alternative to either euthanasia or outsourcing, what soon will be a quarter of the population, and argue that the solution to much ails us as individuals in a society lays in rethinking the map of life, the map of life that was in many ways set up in three score and 10, which seems like a longer lives of the past century but is inadequate to the five score lifespans that more and more people will be living in the 21st century. half the kids born since 2000 the developed world are projected to see their 100th birthday so we can't just fold, spindle, made late stretch and extend this life course that really was set up for a very different arc of life to one that is really, has an extra
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decibel point, an extra zero to it. so i think what is happening, to really cut to the essence of what i'm saying today is that the nature of life is under every bed a radical transformation as the numbers are. all those numbers that we are so familiar with and that period that has been characterized in these oxymoronic terms is actually an entirely new stage of life. 60 is not the new 40. it's not the old 80. 60 is the new 60 in these tens of millions of people who are flooding into this territory or something entirely nail on the landscape. and get something that is poorly recognized seen mostly as a problem to be solved that i think may well amount to be an opportunity to be seen if we play our cards right. this whole proposition at one level probably sounds counterintuitive.
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like the oxygen in the air, fixtures when in fact they are much closer to being fiction quickly learned that in trying to trace and understand the history of retirement in america, this idea in the golden years that has seen so much a core part of the american dream for the last half-century. in fact, if you go back even to the 19 30s when social security was invented, 65 was the picked as the eligibility age for social security based on the prussian military that bismarck had -- convince the state would never pay out a single -- he was a think in his late 70's at this time and in the 30s we picked this age, gave out the first social security check in january of 1942 a woman named ida may fuller in vermont, who took $20.75 into the system and proceeded to live just shy of
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her 101st birthday reaping $22,888.92 in the process. she saw the beatles come to america and the moon landing. not that everybody at that point was going to live this 20 century lifespan but the handwriting was already on the wall. edvac of the late 1940s walter luther describe retirees as tool to work, too young to die, which turned out to be a problem for those individuals who are trying to figure out what to do during the extended spans beyond their working years but also for the financial services industry, which was having a hard time convincing people to invest in it period that was a dreaded time, period that people hardly wanted to think about, talk about and definitely did not look forward to or think about investing in. so they began selling retirement as a kind of an aristocratic period where people could go to
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the ballgame in the afternoon and that vision wasn't cemented until the early 1960's particularly by the retirement community developers. my hero from that period, guy by the name of delbert g. web. the inventor of sun city, the first large-scale retirement community in the country. if you took a flyer on this idea that later life could be affecting childhood and he built a community and invested $2 million in the late 1950's, early 1960's into the opening of sun city and it was a wonderful moment the night before the community actually opened when one of his lieutenants was sitting around the table at a mexican restaurant in peoria arizona. he said how my for going to sell a 30-year mortgage to summon a 65 years old? maybe we should've thought about that beforehand. they all had sleepless lights
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and 100,000 people showed up. if you build it, they will come. this was an incog longing for something different than society offered at this stage of life. they essentially managed to make what was seen as a necessity, a virtue and retirement, this idea of the golden years for an extended period is what became the hallmark of the american dream. it's not just retirement that was invented in the last century. it even adolescents, the idea of youth was concocted in the early part of the century. that word was coined in 19 four by a 6-year-old. a psychologist named g. stanley hal. we were in a situation in the country where there was a proliferation of the -- of that day. neither young nor old as the characteristic of so many of us in our 50's, 60's and 70's. there were all these young people who were no longer children but they want quite adults. it was a time when there was a lot of disruption in the
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country, urbanization and industrialization, immigration. there was concern about all the zen people who had physical maturity but not emotional maturity. we essentially created a moratorium period. we had high schools and child labor laws and it took four years, until 1944 when we invented the word teenager and the birth of 17 magazine. there is some irony that youth was invented by somebody in their 60's. the main lesson really is that the stages of life were essentially responsive to problems. they were solutions and it's ironic that g. stanley hal himself, the inventor of youth, who proposed 20 years later a new stage of life between midlife and old age. arguing that he had actually made a mistake. he should have invented the stage this stage iv people like himself.
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he promptly passed away a year later but in writing about this period he had a a set of beautiful images and insight which i think actually makes a lot of sense almost 100 years later. he described as period is an indian summer and he said human beings didn't reach the height of their capacity and tell a shadow started slanting eastward, which i love. essentially has idea was that more and more people were reaching a point where they have the benefits of experience in the capacity to do something with it. wrote a book a couple of years ago composing in later life in which he described this period of active wisdom and it all comes back to a sense of time. it's a familiar way of thinking about this period of life in the assets the people have as they move into their encore careers and continue trying to contribute to society, this
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experience. this essentially time lived is essentially as important as the other side. is the question of time left to live. i know when i hit my 50's and by find this theme over and over again when i talk to other people, there is a recognition that there are a lot fewer years ahead than they are behind. that is just the reality even in this era of much longer life spans. that has a profound impact on people's priorities, on their perspective and yet at the same time there's this awareness of mortality and the sense that time is being compressed. there's there is a sense of the expansion of time. you read these articles about the centenarians and the continually growing life expectancy here and around the world. and at the same time you also realize how fast the last 20 or 25 years went by. of its accommodation of perspective and motivation that i think of in terms of that
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great french revolution, fraternity, equality and liberty of this is quality, longevity and -- there's a realization that the road is gone forever. you pick up your college yearbook and not everybody's there. parents pass away. you read the obituaries and steven jobs dies. there is a sense that time matters in a way that you are not aware of when you are in your teens or 20s or even your 30s and yet the likelihood that there is a stretch of time up ahead. it's almost as if in the past wisdom was wasted on the old. this is the time you have figured out what life is all about and you were too worn out into rejected to do anything about it. now you have got 10,000 people a day turning 60 who are reaching this point where they not only have all that benefit of experience and all that time lived but here's a perspective on life about what matters most and it's time to do something with it. i think that's really what hal
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was talking about when he talked about indian summer in the shadows slanting eastward. does not help us at all get past the oxymoronic problem. when i was writing this book i was trying to figure out, what do you call this stage of life? paul use afraid -- phrase which explains 90 years after he wrote his book we still don't have a name for this period. adolescence, the third chapter. i was struggling up against the publishing deadline and i had no name for this period. i found myself poised over laundry hamper with my mother-in-law who is one of those people he races through the times crossword puzzle on sunday and gets every word and it's all said and done for in less than an hour. i said what am i going to do? she set up i'm so glad you asked me. i figured it out long ago. i said, tell me.
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as we were moving towards the computer she said i'm on my next-to-last dog. she has publicly got about six years left in her current k-9 and then she could get a midsize. she is in her early 60's, probably about a 14 year pooch and at that point it's not that she will be measured for a casket but you have to clean up after the get. i thought wow we are used to measuring life in dog years and this is just a new application. in may the end i was guided more by the national discussion that has been happening over the 20 which i think is a parallel conversation to the one that is occurring in the 60's. there was a macarthur foundation commission a few years ago that published a report arguing that 20s are stage of life which they call emerging adulthood. i thought well maybe this third phase of adulthood, the period
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from the 50s through the 70's could be called on core adulthood. shakespeare said there were seven stages of life and i think as we stretch to something approximate -- approximating five score we can just stretch those stages and i think they're getting toward something that includes childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood, midlife, on core adulthood, retirement and old age. but i think it's going to take more than a vision to realize their life course that makes sense for this century. i am struck a lot by a comment i heard and read about, a critique of ge family hall. he thought that adolescence was going to take place in both halle when of infected occurred in high school. i think the same caution applies in thinking about how we shape this period but i would like to focus as a society on the
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segment of the population that is planning to contribute in that stage of life and the stage of productivity, the engagement, of continued growth and that's also a time to use what we have learned from life not only to do something that has personal meaning but something beyond yourself. marc piercy, the poet says -- and a person for work that israel. i think that is true. studs terkel said americans get up and go to work every day is much for daily meaning as for daily bread. he could have easily added daily identity. so it's no surprise that many people are looking for a new amalgam around work in the stage of life. they need income to be sure but they are also looking for daily identity for work that mean something beyond themselves.
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we have been calling that an encore career, work in the second half of life that is an intersection of passion, and a paycheck. already 9 million americans are engaged in careers in the second half of life. 31 million more give top priority to make in that transition that are struggling to what's next. it's essentially become a do-it-yourself process for so many people who are trying to get to this aspiration which is not only going to benefit them but i think has great potential payoff for the nation. i think it's a as a society we need to come together and develop better pathways to help people navigate their way into this stage of life. i think one place to start is with what we do for young people. we have internships for young people. that's one of the best ways for people to find the next phase of work and in fact a professor wrote an insightful book a few
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years ago, working identity in which she described how people at all stages of life are far more successful if they experiment, if they are able to try on new career roles than if they just discover their passion. it is a process that is much more likely to be successful that there is an opportunity for trial. that is what we do with internship programs for young people. as i was writing this book i met people in their 50's and 60's and 70's one after another who were in those internship programs for young people. i met a guy at yellowstone who worked for the public tv station in boston, retired from that job and had always wanted to be a park ranger. key couldn't beat out how to get there so we joined a student conservation association and ginger program. there wasn't anyone in his class over the age of 19. i met a woman in denver whose daughter had gone through teach
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for america and as she watched her daughter teach in a los angeles classroom she was so moved that she applied for teach for america herself. she was in her early 50's at the time and ended up a year later in a dorm room in july in houston at 115 degrees, sweltering temperature sharing a bathroom down the hall with three, 22-year-olds. it seem like whether they were burrowing up from the street or repelling down from the ceiling or sneaking in the side door there were more and more people who were trying to find these kind of pathways to purpose. we created at a fellowship, an encore fellowship program which was designed to be a front door for many people who wanted to make this passage. it started in silicon valley with 10 people who had had careers in the corporate sector and wanted to work in the environment or kids in poverty but had no idea how to actually get there.
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halftime for nine months and receive $25,000 in the fellowship, half from their previous employer and half from the nonprofit where they were working. this past fall fall intel announced every single retirement eligible employee in the united states could do an encore fellowship and they would pay the full $25,000 cobra coverage to help pay for the demonstration of the program and they moved this from a philanthropic initiative to nh are publicity at a time when all we hear are about companies cutting back their h.r. benefits. here is a new benefit aimed at the reality that so many people who have worked for 25, 30, 35 years are simply not at the point of retirement. at the same time they have been so busy doing what they have been doing in midlife that it's hard to know what's next. they need to try things on and to have lowered barriers to entry to do that.
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another idea is school for the second half of life. one of the triumphs of the last quarter century was the invention of lifelong learning through osha lifelong learning institute which is a huge time. now we have a well-developed system of education for young people, for older people the people who are mostly focused on personal development and intellectual stimulation. what we are missing our school for the second half of life and again in communities around the country, people are going through the do it yourself process. there has been at doubling for example of people over 50 going to divinity school since 1990, a phenomenon that "time" magazine referred to as holy rollers. and but this is then happening in many -- as well. we need to do a better job at making those programs efficient expedited and affordable care of the same "time" magazine article
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i referred to describe a woman who had been a pediatric nurse in florida and became an episcopal priest, close to $100,000. she had to sell her house and she sold her car and took a vow of poverty to make it through that period. why not come up with better ways for people to say for this transition that so many more going through? there was another article in "the wall street journal" that describes the growing number of boomers who were tapping into the children's 529 accounts to go back to school, whether they were going from being an episcopal priest to a pediatric nurse and vice versa or some other combination. we have individual retirement accounts. i'd like to see individual purpose accounts where people save for their own transition and they don't have to go through their children's 529 account. at the policy level, why not take social security more flexible? why not enable people to take a year or two of social security in their 50's for example to go
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back to school or to do an encore fellowship or to do national service for a year and have people go to work and actuarially adjusted period on the other and? these are things that we should ask the experimenting with, trying to develop and i think his policy level we should come up with something that's much more dramatic than even the small experiments that i'm talking about here. you know we had millions of soldiers returning from abroad to home after world war ii and we created the g.i. bill. we did it for them to honor their service to the country but we also did it for the country because we knew having these individuals struggling with the bad for the economy and would be a source of social conflict. so we created a vast policy innovation called the g.i. bill. i think we need something that is an encore bill to help tens of millions who are crossing different terrain. it's not geographic.
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it's not from military service disability and life but it's really a stage in life that has no name, that has few pathways and institutions, but in the same way that we are deeply invested in those soldiers finding their footing. the same is true of all these millions and millions of people today who are in this period that is between life resembling retirement and old age. i would like to see us do it in a way that promotes social mobility. this wonderful example, the troops and teachers program which helps, to go back to the g.i. bill analogy, would help mostly sergeants coming back from the gulf war, moving the ball for school teaching. it was created by an 86-year-old retired history professor at washington university who watched a youth account of soldiers coming back from the first iraq war who were having trouble getting their footing in
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the economy. he wrote at that time we had a shortage of people teaching in urban schools particularly people of color and put two and two together and it's turned out to be a spectacular program to help people get a foothold in a new kind of career and better income than they have when they entered their first career. so many of these individuals are people who went to the military because few other opportunities existed for them. i wrote about a woman who was an assistant principal who had gone into the air force because she couldn't afford college. she was the daughter of sharecroppers. she ended up getting a doctorate in education. i think in many ways we cannot only help people move into the second act of purpose to help them move up the ladder as well at this point. i would like to see us do these things in part because we have so many people who are at this
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juncture because time is awkward, because it will be unsustainable as a country to have so many people spending so many years of their lives without gainful employment and opportunities for productivity. the number of people is too small to support all the people who are in the second half of life. but i hope we can marshal the energy and create -- i think there's an extraordinary opportunity. i think we can turn that longevity paired docs into a fast payoff and i think the analogy is the movement of so many women into new roles in the 60's and 70's. at that point we were thinking as a society, this is going to be a zero-sum proposition. how we accommodate all this talent. we will simply displace men and end up at the same place that we started only with a lot of conflict along the way. now we know we would be never be competitive without that enormous source of talent. down the road we will feel the
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same way about the segment of population. i think there'll be lots of surprises as well. we can't write off the talent and experience of this group but even more we tend to underestimate the creativity and and -- david gallas and he studied creativity said creativity across the life course. he said the value of every significant painting that was sold over the last 100 years and as they looks at the patterns of this artwork more strongly than anything else was that the most valuable work was mostly done by people who are very younger people who were old. it turns out according to him, the reason for that distribution is not the people who are older people who are young are by their very nature more creative. it has to do with styles of
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creativity, conceptual genius tends to bloom later -- earlier. it just takes a long time if you are an experimental genius to reach the apex of your productivity. the most valuable work is done in the late 60's. probably the greatest american focus teaching middle school and great neck new york. she didn't do her best work until she was 80. when you think about how much of the society we have tended to think about creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship has exclusive province of young people. the facebook generation, and write people off as they reach this point where they not only have years of potential contribution in many ways some of their best work in some of their most creative work. so i think we are at a point where we can take advantage not only of this vast human capital
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windfall but what potentially could be a great wave of innovation. wiki about something called the purpose prize. civic ventures is something that was previously called. each year five people get 100,000-dollar prices. we have 1200 to 1500 nominations a year for these awards. we have given out in addition to those prices 50 fellowships a year just to recognize the top 5% of people who are using their midlife experience really to do their best work. there are rarely examples of reinvention. they tend to be people who are taking what they have learned from one phase of life and applying it to new challenges in doing so in innovative ways. i think the two greatest payoffs though from making the most of the longevity revolution, and i will conclude with these thoughts, might be at the cultural level. you know, you talked earlier
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about mortality, longevity and urgency, this kind of perfect storm of purpose that so many people in the second half of life and up realizing. but there is a direction to all of that purpose and its encapsulated in the idea of generativity. erik erickson was probably the great scholar of the second half of life said that the hallmark of successful development could be encapsulated in the phrase, i am what survives of me. as if our own mortality, we realize that the goal of life is not to try to live forever, not to try to be young forever, to have a second childhood but to be there to invest in those people who actually are young. i think as a society, that it's been a big part of the american ideal, that we invest in future generations that future generations will have a better than we did. i think there is growing concern in the country that we have lost that. i think a big part of the reason
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we have lost that, and lost that generative ethos in the country is because we can find our congenitally second childhood. if we did the opposite and really fancy generativity we would not only see much better prospects for young people but we would give to this next generation into the generation after that a vision of the second half of life. all the young people who will see their 100th birthday. second half of life to invest in. they can recognize early on that there is more than one bite at the apple and in many ways too i think all the people who are at this juncture today are like the women in the 60's and 70's who were breaking through to new roles for themselves what they but they were also paving possibilities and pathways for all the younger women coming quickly on their heels. so i think there is within this
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zero-sum prospect in this long great wave of greedy that we hear about so frequently, the opportunity not only for a massive wave of talent for the country but for huge opportunities that will resonate for years to come. i will close with a quote from a mentor of g. stanley hall, william james, probably the greatest american philosopher who said the great use of life is suspended or something that will outlast us. i can think of no better benediction for everything that we are here to talk about today. thank you. [applause] >> we would like to remind our listening audience that this is a program of the commonwealth club of california and you are listening to marc freedman. this program has been underwritten by wells fargo bank and ernst & young. are thanks to both of those corporations. archive now we have questions
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and i would like to invite anyone who has a question to come to the mic so they can be hurt. who will be first? c. fascinating having these ideas presented. i love it. one of the questions that came out of your book was a discussion question that prompted me to think about what has happened recently and i would like to get your impression and take on possible solutions. venture capital investors looking at making investments with entrepreneurs. they have said on more than one occasion, we need a 20-something face on this investment. we are not interested in you. do you have any ideas about why that is happening or what kind of solutions we might be able to put forth to break down that?
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>> you know i think we are at a turning point now. i think it's described in the case for many years just despite everything we care about, the demographics and the size of the population but i've seen a couple of heartening developments in the past year. one is a venture capital investment and what was called the encore career which is changes name to power ed and it's a collaboration of ucla continuing education program, creative artists agency foundation, entrepreneur steve portman he ran for gubernatorial nomination a couple of years ago. and it's focused on providing a new kind of education on the ipad for boomers and particularly focused on careers that have social impact. they believe are going to launch in september. i can tell you whether they will succeed or not but i was struck by the fact that this was a significant investment that was
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made and it was a collaboration between public and private institutions, a development that i'm much closer to and that i mentioned earlier is the film -- [inaudible] we were in partnership with one of the producers of that sound and in fact we have been doing a contest called the marigold ideas in which people over 50 in communities around the country each month get 5000-dollar prices for an idea for social change in their community. one person each month gets to go with the rose color -- rhodes scholar. they're still a couple of months left in the contest so i encourage anybody to enter. it was a film that was made for $10 million it was made upwards of $125 million so far. i think it's going to be a game-changer for hollywood. there is a realization of people
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in the demographic are adjusted and stories in a cost less to make money and on the other hand there are a lot of people in this demographic. that is a pretty dramatic payoff for the sound. i was thinking about the film in the context of your comments because i think time is on our side. at the end of the movie, actually midway through the movie there is a wonderful scene in which the proprietor of marigold hotels this played by the slum dog millionaire character is accosted by one of the british retirees who moved there and wants to know why the hotel doesn't look anything like the photoshop brochure that she saw. he tells her, and india we have an expression that everything works out in the end so but hasn't worked out it's not yet the end. [laughter] >> thanks to marc freedman our speaker tonight, author of "the
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big shift" for his comments and we also thank our audience here as well as those listening to the recording. and now this meeting of the commonwealth club of california commemorating its 109th year of enlightened discussion is adjourned. thank you, marc. [applause]
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>> there are many people who might even take issue with grant saving the union during the civil war. didn't lincoln do that? well yeah he did and i'm not going to say grant was the only person to save the union, but he was the commanding general of the army that was lincoln's policy into effect. he was the general who accepted the surrender of the army of northern virginia under robert e. lee that ended the war. so if anybody won the war on the battlefield, if you could say that any one person did, and of
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course you can't, but one of the things we do in history as we generalize. we simplify because history and reality is simply too complicated to get our heads around if we deal with it in its full complexity. so grants it the union during the civil war. and they do contend that grants save the union during reconstruction as well. >> according to a panel of sports medicine professionals, young kids who play football face few safety risk. next from the aspen institute dr. robert cantu neera surgeon and author of concussions and our kids, leads a discussion on the injuries involved in the foot all. this is 90 minutes.
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>> if you were than one in every four adolescence gets enough exercise in this country. we have an epidemic across the nation. it cost about $90 million a year direct cost projected to be $190 billion by 2030. we know that physical activity levels have dropped 32% of less than two generations and that between the ages of nine and 15, our physical activity level has dropped 75%. a lot of kids fallout of sports during the middle school years. and we know that there are many health benefits from playing sports, stronger bones, better heart health, lower levels of depression and we know that one study in 2004 out of penn state university said that adolescents
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who played sports are eight times more likely to be active in sports at age 24 as adolescents who do not play sports. so in a nation we have a real interesting getting and keeping as many kids active in sports in their teenage years as possible. at the same time, we have another set of statistics we have to contend with particularly as it relates to the sport of football. you know i worked for espn and we recently conducted a survey of parents and 58% of those with suns younger than age 15 say they were cole very concerned about youth with all injuries. nearly one in five discouraged their sons from playing the game. foot wall has the highest concussion rate in sports along with hockey, and you have a lot of parents, a lot of people are
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wondering chico is this a game that is safe for my kid? should i introduce them to at? what are the short-term consequences? what are the long-term health consequences? so the central question we are going to be looking at today is how can football, the institution of football best serve the interests of children and communities and public health? how can football serve children, communities and public health? everybody at the table here has their own narrow interest. we work for this organization or that organization and we are trying to grow our membership or whatever else it may be but this is a collective conversation about what are some great ideas that people have developed out there and could be scaled up, and is there a common ground that people can find to move this conversation forward and
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address the needs of the nation and the concerns of parents. people are worried. should we hold off on football until high school somewhat arguing not play at all? or can it be made safer through reforms at the lower levels? and what is the role of the nfl, the players association and pro-football and the industry in general and creating an environment that is productive? aspen begin to address these questions at the aspen ideas festival in june where we convened a panel called head games, can foot all save itself from itself and jim brown, the nfl legendary, the legendary nfl running back was on the panel and dan garza, professor at stanford who has worked on mouthguard technology that can
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measure the force of impacts on the head and kevin turner who was the subject of documentary which you will see a clip of it called american man produced by a colleague of mine who works at hbo. so, this panel will be featured in a show on the world channel on november 20 at 8:00 p.m. and on line as well. pbs is working with, public television is working with the aspen institute to turn this into a one-hour session. there will be a whole one-hour session which will include conversations about football safety but we are going to play about a ten-minute clip of that.
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[no audio] [inaudible conversations] let's come back to it. sorry about that. so what i would like to do now
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is start off this conversation about the under 14 question, the pre-high school equation and i would like to do that with our special guest, dr. robert cantu who many of you will of course are familiar with. he is the chief of neurosurgery and chairman of the department of surgery and drifter of services of sports medicine in concord massachusetts as well as the clinical professor of neurosurgery and the codirector of boston university center for the study of traumatic and -- and -- encephalopathy. is the he is a senior adviser to the nfl head neck and spine committee and is co-founder of the sports legacy institute, an organization dedicated to addressing the concussion crisis through research, treatment, education and prevention and he is the author of the new book, called concussions and their kids, america's leading expert
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on how to protect young athletes and keep sports safe, written with marc hyman who is with us here today as well. so dr. cantu, what is the central thesis of your book here? >> first of all time i would like to thank you in the aspen institute for convening this conference today and for inviting me to participate in it. i think before i answer your question, i would like to start i just simply saying i am pro-sports. i want every sport to be continued and i wanted to be played in greater numbers, and i believe all of the opinions that i hold are trying to have that happen although right now maybe not everybody fully believes it. football's value is the exceptional exercise obtained in playing it. the last time i checked, it was
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the minutes if not hours of physical activity playing the sport that counts, not the milliseconds of bashing heads. as for the medical director of the national center for catastrophic sports injury research, we track catastrophic sports injuries in this country. 97% of which comes from the sport of foot wall or 96.9 to be precise. and that is even before you start to get into the concussion issue. please believe that all sports that are currently being played should continue to be played that they should be made safer with regard to the head issue and in the sports of football especially involving our very young youth, we believe the tackle football should not be played, rather flag foot should be substituted and in the substitution of flag football
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it's perfectly okay if pats are worn and if even helmets are worn. but the act of tackling, which is the activity were almost all of the serious injuries happen and the majority of the concussions as well is eliminated and instead flags are pulled. i personally view this as a tremendous opportunity for usa football because, if they were to offer flag football is an option and promote it, all they wrote the benefits that are needed would be there. the head injury risk and other injuries would the largely decreased and i think football would be gaining individuals coming from other sports at high-risk of head injury,, especially like soccer. soccer has been a drain on football for two decades and i think he would go the other way of foot i'll were to offer the
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flag is an option to tackle. youngsters are not miniature adults. brain injuries and youngsters are a bigger problem than they are and adults. youngsters brains are not fully my eliminated. that is the coding of the telephone wires as an analogy. it helps in and transitioned to get or structure and support to the brain fibers connecting nerve cells. youngsters brains are more susceptible to the excited toxic shock of concussions and. youngsters have big heads on weakness like the bobble head -- although head daul effect that puts them at greater risk than and it. i commend the nfl did try to alleviate this problem but tend to have the oldest equipment, the least experienced coaches, almost never have medical personnel on the sideline. youngsters do not have informed
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consent i would offer. rarely do they really understand the risk, especially at the youth level. so for these reasons as well as others which i'm happy to get into, i think that we should seriously approach football from a different standpoint for our youngest individuals and take tackle out of the football football at the youth level. ..
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and all of them came from one individual who was conflicting the trauma on others. there is not so good signs to tell you exactly what the scope of this problem is because statistics are just not been accumulated. what we do know from a wide variety of sources is that the brain of our youth are more susceptible to injury and the impact that the springs are being asked to absorb some times reached the same level commit bdg or higher that we see and adults and there is a lot of emerging evidence both on structural dti, on metabolic studies, functional mri as well as neuropsychological testing suggests that she don't even have to have concussions
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recognize for your brain structure and/or function to deteriorate over a season of hope. preseason testing versus postseasons declines under all three of those disciplines. so there's plenty of of evidence i believe we need to look at this differently. >> i was thinking of someone who was telling me he's a freshman in high school and it's his first year playing and there were an awful lot of injuries this year, possibly because these kids haven't played football before and they're been introduced to tackle for the. you've heard the thought. kevin draskovic said north carolina believes you need to teach kids how to tackle earlier to protect themselves at 14, 15 of 16. >> i might've heard that once or
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twice. kevin as department chair where we are adjunct professors, so i've heard that he's a respected colleague inquiry firm. i think in this one area we seriously disagree. maybe there's one or two others, but i cite the following. if you look at some of the great individuals played in the national football league, tom vries not a bad example. the guy that ran for 251 yards last week against oakland and other didn't play it down until they got to high school. let's forget about them. let's look at tony gonzalez, the all-time leading type and still adding to his numbers he played basketball at my alma mater end up in new england are right guard for years with stephen mayle who didn't play for in high school and college, came
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out of college with an outstanding of the wrestling career. not much future in olympic style wrestling. there's another activity that doesn't cope with the same name, but this guy to have that could fill you in where you can make a buck. so she went to football and there's many tracks as it did play football in college like some not to go into the nfl and call each. if you got the elite genes in the work got sick, you can make it in whatever sport you don't have to pick it up at a very early age. you're going to be better at age five or 10 or 12 if you do. when your age 20 and will be what god gave you and which are willing to do for yourself that determines where you will find out. i don't play for second inning
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to teach the skill set at an early age to necessarily perform at a high level in your 20s for the reduce or even in high school. i don't think you necessarily need to stop them from learning skills if you go to flag football because flight football you will pull a flag to bring them down in tackling, but you can still teach all these skills. you can still teach tackling skills without having tackle be a part of the play. instead of bashing heads you are hitting dummies, tackling dummies. the winningest football coach in this country, tom gagliardi known as 80s doesn't doesn't have any tackling once the season starts in his teams have won and his teams have embraced it. the only tackling that goes on as an gameplay. but they practice all week long. they just don't bring them to the ground.
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>> we talked about the importance of getting kids active. as a football one the sport but is actually accessible to kids over beasts are overweight? there's no room on the soccer team or in any of these speeds, but in foot tall as a place. you eliminate the opportunity to give those kids physically to be opportunities. >> lactam is checked, and site did have tackles and guards in different positions and i don't see flag eliminating those individuals from playing. yes, they don't have as much as an advantage, but i think they can play flag football and get the aerobic benefits plan as a youngster i really did feel there's a lot of aerobic stuff that goes on. i don't want to see less of it. >> one governing body that is new to misdirection is is hockey.
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they have been body checking. they've also gotten rid of championships. there was a lot of angst when they were having this discussion about whether to push body checking off. what do you think of their reforms, how they work out. what if we learned? >> two years ago when we started writing, it was 11 years of age full body checking started as you just indicated and over the course of the last two years, they've upped it to 13. so the 13, 14-year-olds are the minimum age that they start with full body checking. i came out and was facilitated by several reports out of canada that showed the incidence of concussion was dramatically higher when there is full body checking. so it was really good stuff that made it easier and i commend him greatly. i am not hung up whether it's 14
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or 15. waitress relatively immature, move it up to 15 before you start coalition activities if you want. the reason that arbitrarily pick 14 is simply you want to learn at some point all of the skills and play sports similar as played in college. we will have that debate later and i look forward to it. >> how do you feel about some of the reforms that other organizations have adopted such as limits on practice time during the course of the week. getting rid of certain bull in the ring type of drills? >> well, i certainly commend all of those reforms. acting role in the ring is insane at any age and doesn't help you play the sport any
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better. but let's think about it a little bit. reducing the hitting by one third, and i support that. but that is up to 40 minutes a day, theoretically every day they practice, the ivy league a couple years ago went to hit two days a week in the national football league and the players association now don't even have once a week. 14 times in 18 weeks. so these kids who have no medical personnel on the sideline, players sport than the late 1900 was designed for adults that came out of college and almost died in college if it weren't for teddy roosevelt. the sport of his made for adults is being played at the youth
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level without medical personnel in attendance and are practicing every arguably 500% greater than the nfl uses. >> affixed to open up the conversation a little bit. if you want to make a comment, ask a question. go ahead and push your name tag up. the executive director of the u.s.a. folk all. talk to us a little bit about what you say football is doing in this area. before that come address the general question. is football serving the best interests of children in communities and how can it be improved? >> it is certainly striving for parents and kids. we all recognize this challenge is. we are at a point where we are learning. first i should think dr. cantu for raising this important
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issues. i believe we are all in this together. we're all looking ways to create a better for players. i hope we are and that is to provide accurate and whenever possible evidence-based data for appearance. we have to be careful certainly not to scare parents. my interaction with parents across the country as they are looking for frankly someone to say we care about your kids. we were taking action. we recognize challenges and were doing something about it. so virtually there's two sides as best as i can tell. there's a sports site in the football side and of course the science side. i will let the medical experts talk about the science side. certainly z├╝rich and others have been working closely for some time. u.s.a. football have 3 million
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kids to play tackle football. roughly two-point play flag. it is a great outfit, a great option. in fact we suggest the experience should be flag no matter what age. in addition, we work with pop warner to make them better and safer. if that includes things that really nationally accredited program, using practice plans. most coaches doug is practice plans come as you make sure you have an organized structure prior to his to make sure we have volunteers to come the commissioners, coaches out there putting their time. we need to educate them. certainly every medical expert, every expert on this issue comes back to education being the most
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critical. u.s.a. football's focus is largely about education. we provide the best resources we can to make sure those folks are prepared. literally down to drills that have 3-d animations. you can literally be in the palm of your best techniques, nutrition information. things like this are resources that ultimately folks to ultimately deliver a safer experience. with that said, we fully agree we need to how practices. it's actually started up a conversation a couple years ago akin to our our office and talk about the concept. it came up with something called levels of contact. the basic premise is there is a progression in track this. start with error.
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the new transition 75% speed and may be the last 20 minutes your blood contact. so it's things like that that is an age-based teaching concept. we set it about this cognitively, emotionally, physically. but in an eight under, 12 and under, how do we develop these folks? parents of a 17-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son is football. to see development of an 8-year-old or a 10-year-old is dramatic. emotionally, physically, cognitively, all of these things weigh in on how we ultimately produce resources that make the game safer. so those kinds of things seemed to me a logical step, maybe an interim step, a logical step in lieu of evidence-based right now
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that suggest we should effectively had 3 million kids stop playing football. >> why not just adopt dr. cantu suggestion of flag only before 14? what is the argument about that? >> we support flag. if i'm not mistaken the arthur organizations work as well. >> the flag only is what you suggest? >> yeah, from our standpoint, interacting with tears, talking to coaches are folks that love this game. just help us understand how to play it more safely. so i guess in shortages to see that leap just yet, but that needs to be -- we need to take such a dramatic leap. again, there is room to work together with the science experts and medical experts to
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create programs and resources and probably stronger standards that ultimately it didn't make this a better safer again. >> dr. cantu. >> yeah, i would like to thank scott very much, too. it mostly it's because of a very insightful meeting that he reference when chris and i spoke with him and other members of u.s.a. football. believe me, this is it me against u.s.a. football. i what u.s.a. folk all to prosper. i wanted to triple the number of people playing it. yes i want to explain a little. when my eyes were open was when i talked to scott two years ago, he said basically i'm not opposed to flag football, but the parents will sign kids up for it. they want to see their kids emulating their sunday heroes and they want to see them do it as young as five years old.
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i may not be the quickest person in the world, but a lightbulb to go opposite wait a minute, i've been working this field for 35 years. i'm not getting a lot of traction in terms of changes at the medical meetings. yes i talk here and there, but it really dawned on me if anything's going to happen is going to be educating parents to demand changes in options and that was the genesis of the book. ltd. the book, despite 31st book. most of the others are medical to keep people awake at night reenlisted mark to help me with it and i'm really thrilled with the result. >> a quick response to that. >> i didn't realize they get to take credit for why he writes this book. but that is somewhat news to me. in fairness, had to in the
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reform that is probably a good one where we've done the research. we looked at the concept of an education program to past 15 quizzes. he passed 80% competency in a program like that. they've been trained for the last five years, but this is important. how do we know the transfer is in the new knowledge in the field? to try to be quick here, the concept does have a player safety coach that is part of the lake, some of the coaches respect, has been a coach and we were to train a person that began and they are on site to assess vendor to. so they work with coaches at the
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beginning of the season, throughout the season, tackling the proper way. they have the season with a work with the parents. we need to do a whole lot more with parents literally look and see thank you come you're making us feel more comfortable. so the long way to get to -- again i don't recall the conversation, but i hope they get royalties from the book. i think the parents are looking for ways to u.s.a. for all and other folks can work together to give them confidence that this can be a better, safer game. they are not looking to immediately jump to other sports that they want to play the sports in a better, safer way. >> let me move it to rain now. but it should give us your title and affiliation in the work you've done at virginia tech. >> podesta may not donate, i am
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breaking up, current research assistant. his apologies for not being able to attend the meeting. really great work and i really agree with him that education is really what we need to teach these players, kids, players, coaches and parents and really at virginia tech we aim at giving the right information to players, parents and coaches family of about 120 players instrumented with acceleration devices that measure linear -- from six to 18 years old. >> what if he found in terms of the forces? >> currently study shows some of these kids have forces that exceed college-level. so although the kids are young in age, they are asked various courses that may be injured -- injurious. we look more into that and currently a study we have
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ongoing this year spread out between virginia tech and university with dirty 2000 data points for head impacts that we are studying. we are making it available to some of the people here. also, we are setting a neurocognitive and data to go along with impact exposure to to give the proper education to some of the physicians as far as the functioning of the brain and differences what we see. >> i would like to go to dr. julia. tell me about your work in terms of pediatric cases and concussions and figuring out when kids should return to play. >> thank you, tom for wilderness foreign and obviously to bob who is that the science and discussion forward dramatically because one of the things we all
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know is we can't not do nothing or anything. see how many negatives are put in there to make a positive. we have to do something. as a clinician that these kids and families and our clinics in seeing the major education deficit on the fields today in all sports frankly, but also seeing the outcomes. some of the things that raise talking about in terms of understanding forces is really important and we just completed some work in developing measures they are using so we can understand their cognitive symptom kinds of effects of these to kids. i think that's very, very important outcome to what we need to link up with the games. from the perspective -- actually was at the aspen institute this summer, where u.s. nabobs
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question about, should we be eliminating football -- tackling a football before the age of 14. at that point i couldn't speak, although we did speak that night. one of the things i said as we've got to change things. in its current form of credit problem. although the age limit is something that has to be further studied here it is going to finish my comments with research, but maybe starts with research in trying to understand what evidence do we have. one of the things that is hopeful that i've seen in sports like football, but also across, ice hockey, soccer other sports as we look at technique differently. this is a pretty young field and taking the issue of injury, concussion and linking it back with the sport is exactly what we need to be doing. we've not really done that up
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until the last few years. but the other thing is we have so little data on kids right now in terms of concussions we have to start collecting more data. again, what virginia tech is doing is important and what we do is important as well. we have to look at what type exar porton, the heads of tackling program. we've got to look at rules and enforcement in procreation from my perspective and football that if you make no effort that the flag is thrown because otherwise you're just using your body is a target -- or as a torpedo. looking at the whole issue of recognition and response, you can come educating coaches and parents we do a really good job with the 40 states that have passed laws. what we do is increase awareness, but we've got to know the train go to the knowledge transfer action and stage. i your coaches and a new
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something was wrong but didn't know what to do about it. we've got to get to the point of making the next step in responding appropriately. finally we've got to wrap that around research. at what age is it safe, is it not safe? when i was at the headcount meeting two weeks on boston, chris asked me did make some comments on what age he think we want to limit contact. i said i don't know. i wouldn't know how to make that estimate right now. but we know that less is better. we do know that. so the other pieces reducing unnecessary or inappropriate contact. is there a safe contact? ready to understand understand that. i've been accelerometers side its outcome is important to know. so pop warner has been trying this, ideally, nfl. what can we do at our youth level? those are five things we can start to do, but we've got to wrap it around evidence to now begin to many more precisely say
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coming to know what euros should we doing this. nine euros should be doing this combat should do this. 12 euros should or shouldn't do this. from my perspective that's the direction they move in. >> the virginia tech study shows sun has a pretty big. the study showing there's sub concussive that are hard to measure and little kids suffer is not enough. we need more research, more data -- >> we really need to understand also with one of the things i would imagine if there will be a good case study of generic coaching technique and not taking other effects into that sort of thing. when we build some of these other measures and put a new technique and hopefully build out of recognition and response into that. i think it will be a good foundation on which to build. >> i went to go to julian bills.
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do you disagree with dr. cantu. and i've read about that? >> in what respect? >> 14 and under. keeping it to flag geared >> i agreed the brain circuits vulnerable and i agree we need to do everything we can to make us safe. if it is shown that's what the public wants through this education he talks about, maybe this will evolve to more flag play. but i don't know, as they think he 32, we don't have exact science about is there truly more injury in youth level? and also, this whole concept gives us -- it gives us a conflict in a way because we think that there's maybe 100 head impacts in a youth player
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per season and at the high school level 3600 to 1000, some unlike that, studies have shown. is it okay that we believe the long-term risk is cumulative and risk-based? is it okay then to a thousand head a year, but it's not okay to have 100? the nature of football and other sports bring in some natural difficult questions. at pop warner, we instituted this year for the first time the first level at the time, we announced in june that we would have no had contact in the devcon pectorals of any type, over a third of the practice time. so to be critical and say that we have 500% more than the nfl is a little bit not addressing the positive steps we try to take in acknowledging them and comparing that to other levels of play.
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so i think we really looked forward to the results of this year where monitoring more than we've ever done and will have a very good survey of 18,000 coaches and concussion and we hope to have a better idea after this season not only a concussion incidents, but the acceptance of these rules changes and what effect they had, how parents and players and coaches are reacting to them. so we look forward to that and think that that may be work to come out of this. >> dr. cantu. >> yeah, i hope people heard it the way i meant it to be that if i apply changes that julian and pop warner has put forward. . ..
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up the incidents of concussion. don't now about the unrecognized. that's why they upped the age from 11 to 13. so yes, we need more data, and yes, we should get it. as a person sits across the families who have hundreds that i can remember of the thousand of patients that we have seen have had their lives by cognitive and emotional problems
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of post concussion syndrome. not all of which recovered from it. when we have chronic traumatic [inaudible] by the group we work it be you showing cte in a 17-year-old and 21-year-old college player and others who played at the college level and never beyond. i think it's issue serious enough i think we need to talk about it now while we accumulate the data that jerry suggests. i'm 100% in flavor of that. >> i would like -- we have fifteen minutes left on the particular topic under 14. i would like turn this part of the conversation to the participation question. you alluded to the fact there's concern if you live to flag, then therefore kids -- parents will not sign their kids up for the sport. let me bring in tom cove on this. why don't you tell us your name, your afghanistan, what you have learned about participation rates in football and some of
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the factors that might be drive the trends. >> sure, thanks, tom. i'm president and ceo of the sports and finance industry association, the trade group of people that make sports products around the world. and we go with a consortium of other trade associations and national surveys of the sports participation. all kinds including all kinds outdoor and et. cetera. 120 different activity. we have a strong basis to understand what's going on with sports participation at the casual level and we break it down gender and location and all these things. so what happened is football for years and years was steady as any team sport going. it is started to see some slight decrees and at the younger level probably a higher, faster rate of decrees. it's fairly small but real over the last five to seven to ten years. one of the concerns weapon look at football with all other
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sports. is the concussion issue driving the reduction. first, at the high school level, that decrees in the rate of participation is not happening. so it's more the younger level. but frankly, it's not clear why. it's a reasonable kind of question, certainly, to say with the the a-- awareness about con cushion and health and head injury. it might be a driving force. they make that at a all ages. we found that both from the quantitative research which is quite detailed but the qualitative focus groups, ease, there are other issues that are affecting football at the young age. the specialization of sports and youth in america. clearly one of the most dangerous factors to sports participation because used to play three or four sports a year. today people play one.
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football suffers for that. nobody plays football four seasons a year. many people play will cross, soccer, swimming, et. cetera. that's a fundamental issue. add the specialization, which probably happened and probably happened a the the higher 15, 16, 17 is moving down. the second thing is football clearly would be effected more than any other sports by the recession. it's a costly sport. the numbers reflect all sports that cost a lot for certain segment of the lower income population suffer. and the third issue is the idea that middle school sports, because of school sport budget being cut middle school sports are being cut. the gateway to football has been increase at high school when most it's starts to degrade people's interest specially in
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can getting the kids involved. finish with it's obvious that the con cushion issue is real and apparent on the front of mind for most parent flps are many other issues that affect it and team sports in general struggling to keep the prarption rates going forward. football is one of them. that's where we stand. >> john butler. i didn't see you there. i'm sorry -- it [inaudible] >> yeah. i apologize. you have been holding the card up. what would you like to say? [inaudible] scott mentioned, we have knock against flag football. we have offered flag football i don't know when flak football started probably the early 1980s,ed at least if not earlier, but to scott's point no matter how we promote it. we never get over 950 team versus 7500 tackle football
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teams. it's not a matter of promoting one or the other. that's what people sign up for. i can tell you the fastest growing divisions are the young two youngest divisions. we believe very strongly in education. we certainly, as -- we put put in arbitrary rules this year, we needed a starting point. we need to know going forward whether we need to adjust the rules further or create new rules as new research indicates appropriate. i have been asked a number of times over the last couple of years why don't they do away with tackle football and only offer flag football. my response, i've surveyed a number of people and if we did, 95% of our members would drop out and those kids would be playing for local independent youth football program. whether it be kids or participants, they want to play tackle football. that goes to a whole question of
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education. it's, you know, it's one of those things that we're trying to do certainly the best question. we rely on our army of volunteers. we require training and background checks. we require at least minnal medical -- minimal medical training to be present at all practices and games. we will keep adjusting those rules. one quick correction for -- tony gonzalez did play growing up. >> bob warner? >> eddie maison is with us. standing next to the pillar there. want to pass the microphone over to him. eddie is a former nfl player. washington redskins, someone i interviewed for an outside lines peace of mind. before kurt warner were stepping toward saying i'm not going let my kid football. eddie was one of the voices that got the conversation started back then.
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eddie, why adopt you tell us about your perspective an the decision you made with your son. >> tom, thanks. congratulations to the board. thank you for your great work, scott, u.s.a. football. i played the game 27 of years of my life has been devoted to the game. eight years professionally. there's consequences to the game. it comes along with it. at the end of the day, you know, working as a commission of sports league, being involved with two -- actually three full-contact leagues in virginia, the thing i have seen since i have been retired and i've been training. i'm on a training facility that works with young athletes from ages to six to pro. the issue is education, and the reality between the education and the reality is this.
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is that the coaches, the that coach the game, whether it's flag or tackle, for whatever reason, don't embrace change very well. that's the issue. and the issue is that bob warner, u.s.a. football can implement all the things they want to, you can implement rules and changes, until the football community embraces the reality of the sports, the reality of concussion, the reality of the damage that comes along with it, if you started early age, that's the problem. i have seen this. i work in it. i live it every day. and the problem is, you know, when i was coming up, we didn't use our heads. we weren't taught to tackle with our heads. if you look at this at the elite level now, everybody leads. where does it start in youth
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football. is that because these guys aren't implementing the right stuff? no, the coaches aren't embracing change. there's certifications that need to be implemented, there are rules that need to be changed, there's levels where we have to make decisions, real decisions, as to take it out of -- as we always tell people. sometimes you have to take the decision outside of the hands of the parent and so you to make the change. we don't offer tackle at the age. we offer flag, and these are the reasons why. and then you develop an institute a set of rules and litigate that to a point where people emigres that. not because we don't like tackle football. tackle football changed my life. of course, my family's live. where what we are saying is safety number one. number two is education, teaching. number three, is the transition of learning how to play the game the right way. i think that's what it comes
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down at the end of the day. tom and i both agree. my son is 8 years old. he's not playing tackle. i didn't play tackle until i got to high school. and i fared okay. >> do you feel like you need learn how to tackle before high school? >> yes, it is important. i think flag teaches kids the points of contact. it teaches them how to drop their hips. how to keep their head up. heads up u.s.a. football, thank you. it teaches them how to enter in to the point of contact, without making contact. so when you talk about attacking the hip, which we teach in football, it is that exact point. bent needs, heads up, eyes a the the point of contact on the hips. obviously on the shoulder when do you play tackle. that's what we teach. that's why i think flag is important because it develops the mechanics of how to tackle. there's other things that need to be implemented. thing are courses that need to
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be taught. i think the coaches need understand at the youth level. how do you teach kids how to play tackle. how do you teach them eighth and ninth grade? how do i teach a kid how to tackle. that goes back to basic old school mentality. some of the coaches that talk about us how to tackle properly. that will help improve some of the safety of the game and keep kids from using their heads. >> got you. sean, documentary film maker, you're making a documentary now on football; right? i don't know too much about it. it has to do with the central question should you let your kid play. what have have you decided and learns? >> i'm working on a film serious. i shot about 30 hours of footage and i had the opportunity to work with ray about a year ago in virginia tech, and to eddie's point about the coaching, there was a pregame before, you know, there was not a single ref of
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offense or defense. it was all just loining the kids up and having them tag each other. there was, you know, in my experience, watching and playing football when i was younger. somebody is trying to elude somebody. it was literally bam, bam. and when the kid didn't rise up to the level of achievement the coach wanted. it's pitiful. it's not dancing. the back of the jersey are reading animal and eliminator. my question is who is watching the people? my son is now 14, i interviewed dr. can ton a couple of years ago, to decide whether or not i wanted to let my son play. and i went the junior high school, and they have no guidelinings. they just canceled the program this year. but there was no coaching guidelines. there was a kid out there coaching defense and he's literally every other minute telling the kids to light them up. put them on the ass. that was all of it. there was no technique involved whatsoever. who is watching these people? that's what i want to know.
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there needs to be another layer. i agree with that. >> uh-uh. john walsh? >> we've heard a couple of assessments here on the kids as early as age 5 says they want to imulate their heroes they see on saturday and sunday, we heard figures as high as 95% drop out if tackle football were eliminated from the youth. where is this research? and how they are row is the research about the parents fulling kids out of programs? >> tom would be best to answer that. >> actually, there's i think john might have a better sense. with regard to parents taking kids out of programs, we don't have as much on that. quite honestly. that is not well developed in the area of the motivation around leaving. what we do know about the motivation of leaving sports sports in general we know about that. it's not fun.
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and the pressure and all the other things we sort of in the youth sport community have talked about for years. it gets past what the original goal was. with regard to some of the questions that come up, if the child thinks it's not fun, whether you want to say flag is better or not, that's going to be a challenge. if the sensibility of the child is they want to have fun playing the sport, we want to promote that. obviously safety first even more than fun. we know that the number one motivation for leaving youth sports, it langs a fun -- lacks a fun component. ashley? >> this is for scott and john. what possible benefit is there for a 6-year-old to be playing tackle football? >> [inaudible] i don't know that benefits. i can tell you they have fun doing it.
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when we started our youngest division, which is right at that age, i thought it was kind of a random -- regional project. it has grown like crazy. you don't see a lot of track ling in the strictest sense. not that they're not being taught. the kids that the age tend to run in to each other and fall down or do a lot of shirt tackling. you know, grab the shirt. the primary goal to safe and the second goal it to keep it fun. i can tell you most of the kids i talk odd who played flag they say it was fun for a year or two years. when do i get the pads or helmet. that's part of the education process. if we are going change this, if research kinds we need to make the change. we need a lot of education. >> ashley talks about the nfl reporter for espn has written
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about -- i don't want to misquote you. you don't want your son to play football. >> right. he's 3 at this point. [laughter] >> there's a league out there for him. >> there's plenty of things that kids want to do that are fun. but, i mean, isn't there a point where as parents as the adults so you to protect them from themselves? if you listen to dr. can too what he says, i mean, think any parent would be nuts to allow their kids to play tackle football period but certainly before the age of 14. >> i think you touched on something important. it's the decision of the parents. and one of the things i stressed i didn't recall on is i think all of us is a responsibility to make sure we educate the parents. there's a lot of information we adopt have yet. one of the things we're trying to do. we don't run legs. first time we teach tackles at 7
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years old. not a big difference. for what it's worth. not based on some scientific evidence-based profile or something. i wish i had that. it's not nothing. we recommend the first experience be flag, and we don't run leagues. we work with the groups make a better experience. the fact as john said is, parents make the decision and what we feel strongly about we need to do the best job question. i mean, we collectively. we need the medical expertise to help provide accurate and again, ideally speaking evidence-based information to parents so they can make the decision. they make the decisions all the time. they make it -- you make a decision all the time. when coi let my child ride a bike. when do you let them cross the road and walk to school. there's all kinds of safety decisions parents make all the time. you acknowledge -- you made a subjective decision i'm not
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going allow my child to play tackle football ever. or flag who knows. the other thing i think is important eddie touched on. the idea of proper tackling and teaching the ascending blow and holding the coaches accountable. they are not -- i hated to say it, this is our fundamental challenge, is getting with the leagues and working more closely together and creating standard to ensure that coach cannot walk on the field until they from properly certified. that doesn't geern tie they are going teach it properly. it goes back the -- right there monitoring making sure before he steps on the field knows how to fit equipment. it's frightening to realize that high school coaches and youth coaches do not know how to properly fit equipment. it's a huge step in the right descricts if we can solve that. how do you teach tackles. going back frankly to lack of the better word, the ascending
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below. . it's not a launching below. learning from you the idea we run one of the largest flag programs in the country. it we think about and we have coaching education in flag concussion manment education. we if we teach them as you probablily transition these are the kids of techniques you should be adopting that help grab a flag or make a tackle. that's a great lesson learning from the great experience. those are the kids of things we have to do together because the 40 states plus d.c. that has a concussion law. we had a conversation with the state senator in indiana talking about how do we push that down again to the middle school level and ultimately to the youth level? obvious they tell you you have to an organization that can governor and control the youth sports. most you can't because they are independent organizations. we're coming up with maybe the field. the fields are the place they can control. and if we work together and say
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coach has to be certified. you cannot walk on a puck little school -- walk on a it's a positive step in the right distribution. trying to address the complex problem. >> i worked on the story involving a 13-year-old kid out of l.a. who was paralyzed because he stuck his head down. and, you know, one coach was trained but he wasn't teaching the way that bob warner taught him to teach. the assistant coach wasn't trained at all and believed he was teaching the right technique. >> he said in that spot i teach what i was caught. it goes back to eddie's point. we have to break the cycle. >> even if we were teaching the technique. that type of play, you know, there were coming at the angle to each other. it's trying to stop them at the goal line. it wouldn't have stopped. it wouldn't have prevented the
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injury was his -- his point was look, can you teach safe tackling. is it a little bit by ever -- at the end of the day you can train coaches. are you going get the point where it is safe for kids? >> so again, our view is -- we talk now to many, many coaches and experts across the country. i mean, nfl, college, high school, you name it. and the two critical pieces and interesting to get eddie's perspective is the idea of heads up. literally the keeping the head up. in the case there's debate whether he was taught to keep the head forward. and coach will tell you, i've teaching it heads up tackling. then terminology. it is where the whole thing breaks down. because the next statement is bite the ball. lead with the screws. put the screws on the number. logic of that. have the ball right here and
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you're biting the ball. you are leading with your head. so two things we have to change, maybe three, proper education, teaching proper heads up whatever possible. this game is the bang bang the sort of the happened so quick. you're not going to be at the the avoid a potential helmet to helmet contact entirely. there's no way. i do believe we can make dramatic improvement if we teach proper head up and have terminology that completely reinforce it is. no coach can say, as you said, lay hat on. that terminology has to be wiped out of football period. we need everybody. we need the priest of parents. i have great confidence if i can talk to every single football and explain in the kinds of things we're doing with the head up football program that at least if nothing else would give them greater confidence make a better educate decision, and over time we're going to see an
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improvement in proper tackle. >> i would like to move to the high school equation. we are ten minutes past the point where we should have. high school football is entrenched in the society. you know, i can actually see us moving to a flag model at the very youngest ages. when you're talking about high school football. this is community entertainment. friday night lights. people gather around. yet we have high injury rates in high school. we have a lot of schools that don't have athletic trainers on site. we can -- we have experts to talk about that. kristin, why don't you tell us your credential and what your thought is on what we do with -- are there reforms that can be introduced at the high school level to make it safer so we don't have as many kids being injured? >> thank you, tom. chris, executive directer of the legacy. and codirect earth of the center for traumatic at boston
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university. high school is an interesting question. it's where i started playing football. and it's hard to figure where on the spectrum it fits. we know youth is probably more dangerous than high school. we know that high school is a big part of our culture. i kind of want to go back, i have a lots of notes here to separate youth from kind of professional and then kind of where we're in the middle. because i think this discussion is really what is unique about football versus other sports and while we're having the discussion. a lot comes down to the adult game is not really separated from the youth game. in a meaningful way. like soccer there's no heading before a search age. no checking in ice hockey. baseball no curve ball. we don't do that football.
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it's the real game where head contact is not rare, and accidental. and so i think we have to kind of identify that as a big issue. but i think we have to look to in terms what we should be doing we actually can look up to the nfl and the nfl pa about steps they have made in the last two years to make the game safer. you look at things like dramatically minimizing the hitting at practice. the one place they had a voice, they asked for it. agot it. the medical infrastructure is incredible. the baseline testing. the athletic trainer in the sky box to watch the feed. we know we can miss the concussion on the field. you look at the session that's what grown men demand. if you look at the way it should be done whether or not that's the way you believe. if that's the model, it's hard to justify exposing kids of any
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age under 18 on a philosophical level to the same sport without any of these infrastructure and resources. no limit on any level on practice exposure. which is terrible. there's no -- there's also no leadership from the high school community to implement that in any way simple way. medical infrastructure 42% of the high school have athletic trainers. a study coming out saying girl soccers are you are eight times more likely to identify concussion in girls socker. we are certain we are not going to spot concussion at the high school level even with medical people. without medical folks and the younger you go, it's the wild west. if you catch one, in awhile, you think about how we train athletes, we train -- we're begging the nfl players and college to offer their -- report
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them. there's no real education program for children. nobody believes we can train children to report the symptom. they don't understand concussion. you separate the two things and you realize that, you know, we are refusing to give children the things we think grown men deserve. and if you look at it from that perspective, the tackle football question especially when you get the youngest ages does seem out of place. that we allow that to happen. and this, this isn't a referendum on u.s.a. football on warner. the leading on this in terms of reforms. and i think that's fabulous but the reality is the big lack of control over can you force youth football programs to do the things we know is a good idea. the answer we just said is no. we can't. with the unknown and issues, we have to take a serious look. >> yeah i want to bring in
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michael. he's a lawyer, you can talk about the liability questions here as we develop knowledge. first i'm going go to gill. a school board member locally. also father, was a father of the football player. tell us about the implications on schools as we learn more about this problem. >> okay. thank you, tom. my name is gill. i'm a school board member here in the northern virginia area. also -- at the high school level and really it ties to the -- [inaudible] as tom mentioned the middle school sports on the decline due to funding issues. we still have it. but at high school level,
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there's several things components to it. first is education. the parents that are out there are still don't know about this issue by and large. and it goes all the way down to the youth sports league. my kids have played multiple sports. they played them all. we have been a big sports family with our boys. but with for the education component, there's still a ton that needs to be done at the beginning of last year, virginia is one of the states that has new mandating concussion training for public schools. >> great. that's great but okay. it's a law. okay the fact that there's legislation is good but not necessarily the effective. it really when you execute it, as where it really gets where you see the quality or not. some places they do it the
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education component is a few forms you fill out and you send it back in and you are done. some places it's all online. that can be god or not. you click through it, the clicks and you are done and you can play. you gain no knowledge. what we did, is we implemented a -- first off, we made concussion education training mandatory for every player that plays any kind of athletic sports in the schools. rerecognize first off it's not just the football -- there are so damage many of them. and we make that mandatory in person for both the student and at least one parent both the middle school level before you can participate, and the high school level at least once. take it in middle school, you come back and you have to do it again in high school. every year have to through an online refresher type of training. that's an important component. i've had this is antidote tal.
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if i can give you one number. we ran over 27,000 students and parents through that in-person training. so it can be done. i've had people tell me you can't do. yeah you can. but you still believe in football being valuable at the high school level; right? you've been through a personal experience. >> i'll be honest. my boys don't play football anymore. but that's a different conversation we can have. but actually it does tie to doctor. your five concussions or three in a game is not an aberration. i've seen my youngest played and the game he got his concussion, there was one other teammate that a concussion. the next day in practice the teammate con a concussion. that was a three 11-year-old on a two-day period with a roaster of 14 kids. from the education component,
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there's that. that's a big part of it. it's not just for the parents. it's also for the coaches and the teachers and across the board. >> right. >> there's all sorts of situations. there's all things we need implement. on scott's level, one i got an e-mail from a former professional a player now a referee. saying what i can do about high school kids that lose their helmet in game. that's fine. what about about the csh, you know, a linebacker run down the field trying to chase the kid with the ball. i can't coanything do anything about that? why can't we. in will coughs you have will cross you take have to take yourself out of the game when the stick gets dropped. >> patrick ruby, you reported on gill and his family, right?
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>> i have. >> what do you think the tell us about the report and what you think the take away is? >> my report sk, you know, gill and his family have been through a lot. they -- their son austin suffered a concussion in a game, and, you know, he committed suicide very shortly thereafter. it's very much linked to the brain trauma he received. this is obviously an area of science that isn't totally well understood. i talked to doctor about it and others. there's more evidence that suggests that pretty strong connection there. but we already know that brain trauma is a big part of contact sports in football particularly. that's not really something being debated at this point. the question i have is sort of we're all talking about limiting the risk here. we're ibt talking about making
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things safer and scott acknowledged we can't make the sport safe. we can try to make it safer. but most of the discussions i don't hear talk about what is an acceptable level of risk in the first place. especially with children. obviously with children it's different than talking about adult in the society. and it goes to, you know, socially, culturally, legally, we dpraw sort of -- dpraw sort of different lines. there's a moral question here as well. and i would put this on to everybody, i'm struggling to understand it myself. i don't understand the more i thought about this and the more i report on this t. how football that different from boxing on mixed marble arts. let's say have a 6-year-old having boxes league or a high school marshall arts team. everybody comes here on friday night and gets the community identity out and. joys the interment and have the
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character-building things we associate with sports. people look at me like you're crazy. why would you suggest that? the more i learn about the brain trauma and the more i try to wrap my head around the yesterday h idea of is football that different from the other activities and sort of what is the larger cultural and moral question here? how are we going answer that? i'll open that to everybody. >> michael, i would like to turn to you. michael is a fop class action hant trust lawyer. involved in a number of interesting cases including the -- [inaudible] suing the ncaa on behalf of players for issues more relevant to the conversation you're involved with the nfl concussion lawsuits. right. as you hear the conversation, what runs there you mind as
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plaintiffs' lawyer are there liability issues here in terms of the, you know, the lack of trained coaches, irresponsibility behavior by some. where is it headed? could we see the same type of litigation at the youth as we have seen from the nfl level. what exact might it have on forces coaches to get training or, you know, people adhering to responsible behavior at the lowest levels. can i start with a yes? >> i know. i know. the seven-barrel question. i apologize. >> the law offers and interesting perspective in the conflict in the discussion gone on today between dr. cantu who is advocating until science proves otherwise it's safest at least to preclude tackling and
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stay with flag football despite the fact that there are efforts progressively to make the game safer. because what the law looks at is the perspective of safety as a whole in terms of the social aspects and the duty -- owed by those who run the game to those who play the game. and there's a continuum or scale of risk as patrick just said. and it's not just the risk of getting injuries. year never going have any sport that is risk free. that's totally sane. there's going to be some injury. a broken bone or whatever. you clearly here have enough science to understand there's a risk of concussion and a consequence to those concussions to which we're not appropriately creasing -- addressing. is if a matter of education, or does the law step in and say education is too slow, it's
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nice. we're moving forward a safer game, but since we have identified this particular issue having this effect on a more vulnerable population, what, if anything, is the specialty be the league -- to those who play the game? and in that continuum and in that is balance of education versus duty. where do we draw the line or where does the law draw the line with respect to the youth football and this afternoon when demar russ was here. we talk about professional players. >> right. i got you. john. why don't you give your affiliation. >> shower.
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sure. [inaudible] there's a bit of a bittersweet discussion for me as a soon -- son of a high school coach. i have proash csh brothers that played high school football. i have seen the wonderful things it can do to change lives. my hope. i enjoyed listening and learning more about the specific concussion issue. my hope is it sparks a much broader debate specifically what should be the role or what role is there a role for football in our junior highs and high schools? we have to have a serious, honest, open data driven discussion that centers around the issue of rush on -- return on educational dollars invested.
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okay. football communities have to realize you don't operate in a vacuum. you're part of a larger community. okay. within the educational constitution. and we have to be realistic about the challenges the institutional faces. specifically standard are being raised. expectations are skyrocketing regarding our schools and what they need to do to instill in the young people an theation is worthy of the 21st century. all right. we live in an global community interrelated cultural community, economy, which is a challenge. they are being asked to do that against the backdrop of declining resources.
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so i think we have to become more smarter and efficient with the resources. whether money, energy, time, motion associated with every single component of the educational institution. given the reality, every single component of the educational institution has to be evaluated based on what the return on investment of educational dollars including football. okay. so how do you do that? the way you do that is we have to go to the justification we have been using as been century. you have primary justification laws. part of it was to socialize in immigrant work force. the other major part of it is the great industrialist turn of the century were interested in football as a way to train work force for the industrial economy. they weren't folks who were
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physically fit. took direction, were obedient, there wasn't much room for lot ofy thinking on ate semibelie line. okay is it primary justification -- we no long -- [inaudible] okay. the other justification that we have used for years and i do believe this justification is that football is a way -- it's an educational tool bilged character. just in team work, time management. all of those things. you can make a case you can make an honest case that football's ability or potential to continue to teach those wonderful lessons, okay, those wonderful lessons has actually been diminished over the past thirty
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or forty years. the reason it's diminishing because of the cultural of elite sport in the country. it's become more about the end result, winning than it has about the process which is education. so you can make the argument that it's become less effective at teaching the bferl thingses. okay. it's naive to think people say the only way you learn the team work and discipline is through the organized sports or football. i played college and professional basketball you have guys working together with the common goal win. i have been in a five-piece band. and same exact characteristic are learned. okay football is not the only, you know, sport that only exeducation activity that does the things. finally the other big one is health. okay.
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from the health and individual standpoint. we have to have an honest, honest data-driven debate about what is the proper role of e leath at lee the -- elite athletes or athletics in the school system. is it a system of the vast majority of resources are heaped upon the elite few at the top. pushing everybody else to the sidelines to watch and cheer. and one of the most e obesity nations on the planet. or should the role of sport in the educational system and the schools be to provide is broad based activity that they can practice for a lifetime for reason of public health. that's an honest debate. >> i have to -- need a break here. okay. my point. don't get to the concussion thing. point is i'm not saying
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eliminate football. maybe we need to consider privatizing it outsourcing sourcing it. we are the only country on the planet with the responsibility for developing elite athletes and teams with educational institutions. everywhere else is clubs. so my hope is we have to have serious discussion data-driven discussion. if we truly believe what football is supposed to do and wonderful things. we should welcome that. okay. the question is, if we so that return on the investment evaluation and we find out that's valuable than we thought. we need invest more money in it. what if it isn't. what if it's not delivering on the educational return on dollar? what do we do as responsible citizens and parents? responsible educational leaders? >> it draws up a larger wider debate. >> yeah. we need to break and grab food. when we come back. i want to hear from warren.
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we need soldiers. and a lot of soldiers, a lot of recruiteds are failing tests right bus they are too obesity. i want to bring it in that there. can we responsibly get the meal and come back here. try not it mingle too much. let's reconvene in ten minutes if we could. [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] nferl player association executive districter talking about change in football to mike it safer and practices in the nfl that could serve as a model for college and high school football programs. from the aspen substitute, this is an hour and fifteen minutes.
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we are appreciate him coming by he's also a trained lawyer, as opposed to an untrained lawyer. >> recovering lawyer. let's go fa that's far. >> right. very broadly, what do you see the nfl and the nfl pa role in this issue become? , i mean, how much leadership should it show on, you know, pushing good practice and policy down to the grassroots the youth and high school level. >> the way we look tat. it's not a question of how much leadership we should show, we embrace the fact that whatever we do results in being leaders in the sport. so when you look at, for example, this new cba, the fact there are more two-aday practice
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is. the fact that after a week 11 there can be only one padded practsd is. four more padded practices and throughout the entire year there can been one padded practice a week. but the greatest thrill that our player leadership has when you take a stand like that. when you see it be replicated in college supports and youth sports. we didn't go with the idea that we were going make the changes because we thought we could be leaders in the college and youth supports. we made the discussion -- made the business of football safer. but most importantly we do know that by having the opportunity to make good decisions, we know that those things will make a difference and we know when we make decisions like that, it's going to be reported. you'll have wonderful seminars like this where obviously you
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couldn't find anybody else other than me sitting in the chair. it's an opportunity to be here. the way that our leadership and the way i challenge our leadership is not so much to sit an and try to think of individual items we can change. what we have tied -- tried do over the last four years is think the right thoughts, ask the right questions. raise fundamental questions of accountability and responsibility and take the best course of action that we can. whaicialt role modeling how important is it for them to show the proper tackling technique. you have the kids watching and the youth coaches watching and they see nfl players leading with their head maybe complaining about being punished when they lead with their head, what kind of signal does that
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send? >> well, look when imoi to a locker room for the next few minutes, you're going treated to the way of which i talk to the players in the locker room. i expect them to be good men. good family men, husband, brothers, men in their community. and that's something that we have decided again as a group of leadership that we're going to demand among all of our leadership. so when it comes to your question of what players can do, we look at it far more broadly than proper tackling technique. we know there are things we can do to make the practice and playing of the game safer. and while there are a number of players that weren't happy with the changes, we made a discussion as a -- discussion as a group of leaders that's the distribution we were going go. changing the offseason for players where we call it the flat ball rule. during phase one of theoff --
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offseasoning there is no running or drill with the ball. we wanted to make sure during phase one that there was absolutely no contact. and while we talked about a number of different ways about making sure that coaches wouldn't have contact we all know that coaches in the national football league are coaches in the national football league. if we didn't have hard and fast rule that made contact completely illegal. the creep would happen. certain changes start changes and doing certain rules. then you get to a quote, unquote, arms race. idea about having the flat ball. let me tell you not every player was happen. a lot of the quarterback and the skilled position players called they were upset with me. how come i can't do this or
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that? the reality was while it might be good for the individual players, it was not good for the 2,000 people who played football. so we're happy making decisions that sometimes make a smaller group of people unhappy. if we do believe that at the end of the day, we again are in a world where we lead by example, where we hopefully achieve a world our players can play longer and most importantly where they can play safer. >> we've heard a lot of talk about heads up football. proper tackling technique and so forth. do db what's your sense. do players support those kinds of initiatives maybe only at the youth level? do they draw a distinction at all. that's a god for the kids but it's a man's game. >> they play the way they were coached. you will not play a player in the national football league who believes that, okay i was talk about to do this in the youth
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football now i'm going do something different in the pros. look, the reality of is while things like commissioner discipline or while issues of illegal hits are the things that tend to make it on to espn every day. we can talk about that later. but the reality of it is for every snap we have for the 22 people who were playing, more often than not espn and nfl networking are not talking about illegal things that happen on the field. those thicks don't make the news. so no, our players don't believe that there is something that is good they could do on the youth level and think that certainly okay on the pro level. what we do have an issue with, and i think again the cba and the last couple of years have tried to combat it we know as a dwrowch players how they are being coached to play.
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so the question sometimes that i think we have to ask ourself, it's one that certainly i have posed at times when a player gets fined for the way in which he tackles, the one question i have of the players is which were you being taught or coached by the professional team? and once again, maybe sometime down the road espn and the players can get together and talk about those kinds of things. >> you're effective advocate for professional football players. all right. -- was that a question? [laughter] >> it's a setup. okay. length of time. >> at least you know. >> a good kind of setup. >> the point i'm making. is who ised a advocating for kids and build champions for kids. is it parents or a matter arming parents with the education?
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is it i don't know building the voice of kids in to the conversation? >> how do we -- how do we build champion. >> yeah. , you know, i think all have an obligation. i coached my kids in sport from the time they were 7 years old. heading in to the last year of coaching my girls basketball team, and if there is one group of poem i'll crawl for glass for it will be them. that responsibility is one that comes from being a parent, it certainly comes from a person who believes in the lessons the life lessons that youth sports teach. but look, you know, when i don't think that it's a question of whether kids have an advocacy group for them. i think the benefit that kids all over the country have is that hopefully the people sitting around the table, the people watching at home, fellow
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coaches like myself, parents who believe in youth sports, all of those people are people who believe in the beauty and the benefits of sports. if you think of the things we have accomplished in the sports take fifty or sixty years, those things weren't accomplished because a particular group had a particular lobbyist working on their behalf. it would be great if youth sports had folks like jeff miller working on the behalf. another great advocate but whrl you look at the issues that have made sports great in the country for kid, you're talking about people who just took it upon themselves that it was better for society. when you think of title ix. when you think of ways in which even in the last two years practices have become safer for kid. that didn't happen because they thoop retrain a great law firm
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or advocate group to represent them. i think society and parents and everybody got together and said what is best for the people playing the game and shouldn't we doing better? and when we do that, we are capable of it here and to the better angels and accomplishing thing in the great in the community and members of society. >> how much do nfl -- how much do they support reform at the lowest levels? , i mean, do they youth levels and college. >> youth and high school. >> okay. >> do they look and say something is something is broken. that's how i came up. it's just football. >> no. i don't know the parent that would look tat that way. can you imagine a world where i might do something between k59 and 15bg during the day and let's just say that i'm a daily boar or i work as a boiler for a
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manufacturing company where i would say, well, you know, whey do at work is fine. things are less safe for my kids, well, you know, hope it works out for them. nobody thinks that way. our players don't think that way. every guy you ask in the locker room, they love the game of football. and it's not so much that i think that they would look at it like we look at the nfl that things are fundamentally broken, but conversations that we have in our locker rooms and our team meetings are not whether things are a mess or not. ..
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and eager to find out more information to develop new practices to make things safer. that's where we want to be. so conversations we have in our locker room or from a group of guys who certainly care about their sport. i've got to tell you they carry heckuva lot more about their kids and their neighbors and their friends and trying to do anything they can to make this game safer. >> what our specific measures being discussed? the nfl just donated $30 million to the nih to fund research in the area of youth sports and youth football. u.s.a. football has ramped up their efforts. i know you are supportive of u.s.a. football suffers. but what could it do that it's not doing no that maybe has been
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discussed? >> there were three or four things. first, but we start up with were believed we all have to be. it is thinking about new ideas and coming up with what i believe is the right we've think he about the role in the world of word athletes at the. one of the most fundamental changes that i think you seen over the last few years in the nfl is our refusal to believe that we start looking at our athletes as football players first and people second. when we sit around this table, all of us obviously have been to some doctor at some point in our lives. all of us hopefully believe in things that informed consent because we believe those are
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things that every patient is entitled to regardless of whether they are an athlete or not. so when we move in that direction in the national football league, i am happy to have those conversations with folks as well because we believe just like they do, we should look at these young to us who they were before they became athletes. when it comes to issues like ensuring that coaches are certified, that is enough or we have been involved in for the last 20 years because again, i played football in high school with western people would call an old-school coach. administer him or woman who played football that doesn't cringe when they hear zero and the ring is a person who is a lucky, lucky individual. the reality was that's the type of football he grew up with. when we are talking about at
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first about educating coaches about what is safe and what's not save, that is something we do on every level. we probably have over 200 players who run some sort of off-season football for speed camp. i can tell you that none of those players run or have camps that have practices that would -- that wouldn't fly in the national soap of field. so again, as we go forward, i do believe that it might be this issue of culture change. i know that's a bit of a buzz word and i do my best to stay away from buzzwords. the things that culture change, things like pushing an understanding of where an athlete says into this paradigm. the last thing, to be blunt, results of this issue of accountability. one of the things we have strived for in the last four years as this issue of increased
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accountability and if there is any one aspect of what we do on the pro level that i hope gets replicated on a college and youth level, it is this issue of accountability. for example, the cba that t. medical professionals to adhere to every federal state and ethical standard. the good news is that that is now in the cba. the bad news is it to have that done, which is a little staggering, but i guess you have to start somewhere. so with respect to our ability to file grievances about.yours, where we believe their care is below a certain standard. again, issues of informed consent are big ones for us. and neither a couple of issues that we are still fighting with between ourselves and the lake on that issue?
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yes. for example, i don't believe it is morally acceptable that you force a player to sign a waiver of all liability before some sort of medical attention is given to a player. i believe that's morally indefensible. so on those instances where we deal with teams that have forced players to sign waivers of liability, those will be steps we are arguing in will seek to hold those medical professionals in the league pays them responsible for those things. again, those are big-time issues that worry you might not be able to find one particular program or one particular at, but that is a fundamental sea change in the culture or philosophy of football that is really a product of the last three or four years.
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>> so what we seen as an evolution of what the standard of care is for the health and safety of nfl players? >> in the expectation of that care. because those two things go hand in hand. it is one thing to say if someone messes up the standard of care euro hold them accountable. it is quite another to have as a parent, work it out how the expectation of accountability. if in expectation the coach will be certified. you have an expectation initial physician will make a call about whether a player can continue to play. but i expect patient is in some respects even more poor than the level of accountability. >> there is the standard of care at the level that you've ramped up. but a lot of you flakes can't afford doctors, trainers,
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neurologists sitting in the press box. so how should we think about that? now we know what we believe is appropriate for adults, how do you think that should be pushed on the pipeline to kid versus hey, they just can't afford it, so let's not even engage in a conversation. >> yeah, you know i talked about the economics are not certainly a big issue. i grew up in d.c. and print servers county. the little league, pop warner boys and girls club team i pay for did not have a trainer. if they did we called him coach and if it couldn't be solved by rubbing dirt on it, it was not fixed. but i do think that going back to this expectation issue, i know what we've done and what people like chris and robert and others have done to talk about
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youth sports is making a difference on the youth level when you contacted. says i have no who are concerned when they believe their kids might even have a sub concussive event wherein said a shaken enough in the old days, whether as my parents or somebody else saying, which you have is a stinger or just a little bit of magnetic, you're going to be fine. scioscia tom and sit this play out. when you have parents and coaches now who know that it's not good enough to just say that a kid is going to be okay we don't even have to take a look at them, i know we've made a change. so guess i do believe that where we can ensure that players are getting the right medical
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attention, that is key. but i also believe that this education piece, where we ensure that parents have a greater expectation of how their kids are going to be taking care of, that is critical. >> one question before we go. dr. cantu is he now supports no tackle football before the age of 14. your thought quite to support better know? >> well, i read the piece that again i'm going to make some paper and happy again that it didn't come to the paper but i'm sure it was one of yours. i've read some of the backup literature. i think it is worth looking at in studying because again, i tend to read everything and i tend to certainly want to know what the scientific underpinnings of it is and i think is worth further study.
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to me the questions are always going to be evidence-based and if that's where -- anywhere with the evidence leads you, that's where you make your best decisions. i think it is something worth looking out and worth studying. at the same time, however, i am always worried that if a particular individual reaches some point about okay, this is where the bright line as, it doesn't mean that we should stop thinking about all of the things that we can do to make sure that our current efforts are as safe as possible. and that -- to me that is really the one -- probably the only danger that comes from scientific knowledge is it that leads people to believe that they have permission to stop thinking about something else. for example, my son is a
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lacrosse player, daughter as a soccer player. even if that is true, i don't want us to think we should stop thinking about ways to make lacrosse safer on the soccer for. and again, because we know kids still want to play tackle football for ages below 14, does that mean we should stop thinking about how do we keep those kids as safe as possible? my hope would be everyone would say no. >> mark, give us your credentials, mark. >> i am a friend of dr. cantu's. also author of a couple books on youth sports. and of full disclosure i did teach this class a couple days ago. >> i wouldn't say he taught my class. i would say you are a guest, a very good one. we've all read comments from nfl players past and present come indicating that they would not allow their children to play
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tackle football. i wonder if you can give us a sense of your conversations. are those unusual cases where players hold those views? or is that a more typical view on players? >> which conversation by talking about? >> players who will say to you, i don't feel comfortable with my child, my child less than 14 years old playing tackle football. >> either conversations with a lot of players who have their kids play and certainly conversations with some parents who say they wouldn't. instead of drawing any wider lessons from any small group that i would ever talk to, i'm sure that's not what you would teach. i think that the real issue is
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the candor and the fact that parents should be empowered to make the best decisions for their kids as possible. so i don't really look or really place much significance on a broader level about the safety of the whole given what an individual player may say to me. we've got 2000 players in the national football league. there's probably 10,000 former players. so to me, the real thing that i look forward in the way in which our players relate to their sport and to their families is i love the fact that these parents, who might be players are former players are thinking about what's best for the kids of mass where it begins and ends. i can tell you that the great part about my job is while most of people in america see our
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players between one and four or four and six on thursday night or monday night, really the pleasure i have decided to do with them once the tv is off and on a monday they probably have a tough time coming down the steps to shake hands with me, but when the tv is off, they appear. so at the end of the day, the lessons that i draw from having those conversations are lessons that while they might be superman on the field, they are the same guys who have their parents -- have their kids like i do every night. >> i'd like to bring days i read into the conversation. look him he is a hero. you're like a vince lombardi trophy all or some pain. [inaudible]
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>> top sports news over twitter. >> jealousy or wit. >> i am a sportswriter at the nation magazine. i host a show called sports radio. my question for you is given everything we've seen over the last several months in the nfl season. when i say that, given continued push by the nfl for an 18 game season, given the regimentation of thursday night games that a lot of players don't like what the mouth rest and recuperation plan every thursday night and given replacement referees, which as you commented created an unsafe work environment for nfl players, do you feel you have a working partner in roger goodell and the national football league and creating a safer game? >> i do. and dave, obviously everyone around the room knows that when it is time for a quote, unquote
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dustup to happen between the commissioner or roger and myself, it typically happens. it also means we have separate constituent these that we represent and sometimes we see the world through two different lenses. our job as i said earlier is to push this issue i think he and accountability. i will tell you sitting here right now is the executive director of this organization that there will never be come a day when i will be pleased or simply resign to where we are in the issue of safety. i think our job, both of our jobs is to continuously look, to strive, to push to make the game safe for. are there issues we disagree with? absolutely. we believe there should be, for
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example, sideline concussion experts in the national football league. why? we believe that there should be people who are trained in diagnosing and healing concussions were going to be at the sideline of every game who only have one job and that is to look for possibility of return custody or sub contested player. if you rub what happened to matt schaub, for example, that issue was one, there is a question whether or not he suffered a concussion because the.cursor to treat him as the play. so having a person who has as their only job someone on the sideline to make sure that have been discovered that a something with players union should exist pithily disagrees. is that it will be resolved? no, but sometimes it takes a little bit of time to get to the
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middle point where wouldn't say we are both hot becomes sometimes we are mutually unhappy. >> other to bring jeff miller in the conversation. as vice president of the nfl represents only care. let me ask you, how critical is this issue? football participation at the youth the high school level to the nfl's long-term growth? >> let me start by a little bit of news and that is to say i agree with quite a bit of what he said. i didn't say all. his dedication to player health is commendable, like the players association we sit on the word of u.s.a. football. the board member himself and the association makes among with the leak in the what you do. addressing the question you just
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posed. activity in youth sports, whether they play football or other sports is a public-health issue. we'll appreciate that conversation we had this morning. we want kids to play football. of course, flag football, type football. we want them to play lots of sports. the sociology around what sport is counterintuitive to what is good for kids. as a parent of two young children it doesn't make any sense to me. but of course it's important to delete and a question you posed at the top, what responsibility do we have asked the players association and belief, the answer is we have an obligation to take that obligation seriously and everything we do for real is what we do will be mirrored and other levels of sport. it didn't take long after we decided to move the kick off line up five yards that other sports bought it. a small example from a small in the sense that it was only
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five yards and maybe it's just a minor will change, but decrease concussion by 40% that year. when we penalize players and find players and change the culture reference. all of those things are followed to the level of sport and that is important. that is relevant. we've a platform on a hundred million people watcher games every week and see what players do all on the field. i think you're kidding yourself if you don't think you have an obligation and that is one you have to take seriously. when we hear questions raised by dr. cantu and others about sport and you sport, those are places we want to engage in the recent nfl gave $30 million to the national institute of health, much shorter logical research. that is the reason the nfl set aside $100 over the course of cba for health research. that's the reason we cut down on the practices.
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is there thinks players advocated for and the nfl was receptive to them that will change how football is played at all levels. that goes beyond that. you can't just say we do this and now everybody will will follow. you have to pitch her actions were your words are. there was an issue this morning, at the night came up about education and a lot about infrastructure was the term that was used that help parents, teachers, coaches. because they don't have the athletic trainer in the sky and the neurologist independent for players to see some of those resources don't exist at the same degree. so what can you do? it's an issue we face. we are proud at the lake that we've invested with the cdc a great degree into a terrific set of campaign materials which are easily available and need to be pushed out further. we are pleased even though cause we do spend time in south dakota
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in january but was unable to get 40 states to pass a concussion loss. not a salon. our friends at the american college of sports medicine have been advocates as well. but when parents receive that information sheet and coaches when they have to be educated and concussion and with a loss to his children have to be removed from the event concussed and have to see a qualified licensed health care provider, these things make a difference. so the obligation the lake has as a platform is relevant. it's important, but it's not all you can do. you do this your money, time, advocacy and pursue education to make sure these things change. i think that while not an individual part of that is a panacea, also put together on the side of sports, weather and the professional level or youth level will help change the culture over time so as a parent of young kids i will see it before my very eyes.
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so the conversation as we have here does not need to be dire. but the u.s.a. football does come a players association, what cantu dr. cantu does, but one i'm optimistic about nsa leak representative is one we can continue to push. >> one of the things we've heard a lot today is education and training. the nfl and the pa had a great tool to address the question of the nfl youth football fund they read about a couple months ago getting funded at the tune of $25 million a year through 2006. funding got cut off. ever since funds have been drained. if it had been continued, funded at the level, you might have a kitty of a hundred 50 million vexed you could throw at it in every coach in the country trained, mandating, taken on my courses, maybe in person courses. i'm a president thinking, how do
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we bring more resources to this question? what's happening with the youth fund? is that going to get refunded? if not, will there be dollars to the issue of helping the pop warner's of the world get coaches educated are mandated? >> your premise is misstated. with the players association, we allocated a great deal of money to the football fund. one of the nfl's two charitable institutions for the purpose of promoting his football is set aside with the purpose of setting money down over time. it wasn't that we cut off the money. it was that we planned ahead. that's very different than what she said. the second piece in a future question is in the most recent we chose the players in terms of charitable contribution. they have their own side with those shoes to do and i believe d. to talk about to the extent he wants. we set aside his negotiation
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$276 billion over 10 years. we've recently given a great deal of thought that how we would use that running a. i'm not trying to break news here, but our commitment to youth football, whether with the players in setting up football, use the off under negotiated element i just discussed has been on bravery. it's an important more so now than ever given public perception? i'll let someone else have that argument. scott contacted an terms of the contributions he's received from us other players and i'm sure d. could talk as well. but this money set aside. >> one of his most compelling ideas people would agree is to get the coaches trained at original site and make go as i will say they teach everyone also serve as a check and balance in its really compelling. but that costs money, right?
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someone has to underway. given a thought on how that's going to happen? >> both parties are starting to underwrite that. we look at every conceivable model, including potentially cover the cost of all coaches to be trained? right now is $5 a coach. again, that's an important statement. five dollars a coach and it's nationally accredited. it dovetails that includes membership, not just a coaching education course. so we strive and we can only do this as an advertisement because of the contributions of the nfl players association to put systems in place and spread them out across the country and a million dollars worth of equipment grants. half a million dollars for background checks thanks to them. the only reason we offer $5 is because it's a loss leader and because of the support we get from them. one of the questions that should be raised if everyone always
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asks me, with the motives of the nfl and players association to this? they can speak to that better than i can. but where's the rest? where these other organizations come stakeholders in football, white wheat working together because of me and we need to find a way to help coaches be trained to get people on the ground that can be there to supervise, ss, verify, et cetera. we do have systems in place to do that, but it does take funding. >> shaman guys with american youth football can one of the largest youth football organizations out there. a lot of independent leagues are affiliated with your group. now tell me what you're doing about this issue. i know you guys, for instance, have not supported pop warner's idea of limiting practice time. you have her ideas on how to reform his football. talk to me. >> this is a really critical
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meeting in the conversation needs to continue. without the nfl, which you do is have an impact all the way down. i have been in use for all since 1999 if the coach and i'm a national stuff. the concussions right now is on the tip of everybody's time and that is really important. a couple of things. i heard he deemed in the first hour or two about maybe it's not so much about teamwork anymore. i think that's absolutely false. you know, we take kids from underprivileged neighborhoods in the inner-city, very privileged kids. all of them were in the same lessons that help them in life. so we should never minimize the importance of that. for concussions, i will tell you we applaud what pop warner is trying. arrests, we are trying to take a look at this.
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it's practices are delimited during the year after school starts. saying you can only had 40 minutes of practice is the coaches will now say okay come with a 40 minutes, let's go hit. we tell them don't spend your time hitting. spend your time teaching technique and everything else. so we will see. were not saying that's wrong. we are just trying a different approach. we are all after the same goal. the other thing is i can't ever imagine although the research is critical. i can't ever imagine a time when we turn around and this government outlaw football for 14 years and younger. we should spend our time finding out what research said and then try and figure out how to make it as safe as possible. working with u.s.a. football and pop warner, the re
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